Border Arrests Top 2 Million for First Time Ever

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Customs and Border Protection recorded 203,597 migrant encounters at the U.S.–Mexico border in August alone, bringing the total number of encounters for the fiscal year to more than 2 million for the first time ever, the agency announced on Monday.

Of those encounters, 157,921 were unique encounters, CBP said. The others involved illegal immigrants who had multiple encounters and had been expelled or deported.

The number is an increase from the 199,976 encounters in July. August 2021 saw 209,840 total migrant encounters.

The latest figures represent a 329 percent increase from the average number of August apprehensions during the Trump administration, according to the Republican National Committee.

“Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement.

Agents had 55,333 unique encounters with illegal immigrants from Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua — a 175 percent increase over the same time last year.

There have been more than 4.4 million encounters since President Biden took office, including more than 2 million encounters this fiscal year.

The RNC estimates that more than 850,000 “gotaways” have illegally crossed the border and escaped into the U.S since Biden took office.

Republicans have criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis on the border, saying several of Biden’s policies have encouraged migrants to attempt to enter the country illegally, including the use of catch-and-release and the end of the Remain in Mexico policy.

The new figures were released amid an ongoing battle between Republican governors, the Biden administration, and the leaders of several Democratic cities and states.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis sent 50 migrants from Texas to the affluent summer getaway of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts last week to bring attention to the crisis at the border.

Texas governor Greg Abbott has been sending busloads of migrants to New York City and Washington, D.C., for months.

“The Biden–Harris administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years,” Abbott said in a statement last week.

President Biden blasted Republicans in a speech on Thursday at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s annual gala: “Instead of working with us on solutions, Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props. What they’re doing is simply wrong, it’s un-American, it’s reckless.”

Yet one Venezuelan who was bused to Washington, D.C., on the Texas taxpayer dime told the New York Times that he was grateful he was given free transportation to a city rife with opportunity.

“I feel fortunate the governor put me on a bus to Washington,” Lever Alejos, 29, said. “It opened up doors for me.”

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